PSY became a global sensation this fall thanks to his catchy "Gangnam Style" song and YouTube video. He appeared at the American Music Awards show last month and is scheduled to perform alongside Diana Ross and Demi Lovato at next week's "Christmas in Washington" event, which U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to attend.
The rapper is getting negative attention this week, however, after someone posted on CNN's iReport web page his performance of the earlier Korean-language song, "Dear America," which calls for the death of U.S. troops serving in Iraq shortly after a South Korean hostage was killed by Iraqi insurgents.
The song says, "Kill those [expletive] Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives," and also urges violence towards the soldiers' "daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law and fathers," CNN said.
But PSY insisted Friday he was sorry for singing the song eight years ago.
"I understand the sacrifices American servicemen and women have made to protect freedom and democracy in my country and around the world," PSY said in a statement to CNN.
He went on to say the song "was part of a deeply emotional reaction to the war in Iraq and the killing of two Korean schoolgirls [struck and killed by a U.S. military vehicle] that was part of the overall anti-war sentiment shared by others around the world at that time.
"While I'm grateful for the freedom to express one's self, I've learned there are limits to what language is appropriate and I'm deeply sorry for how these lyrics could be interpreted," he said. "I will forever be sorry for any pain I have caused by those words. While it's important that we express our opinions, I deeply regret the inflammatory and inappropriate language I used to do so."
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